Coco (2017) Versus Review!

Coco (2017) Versus Review!

Coco is this year’s Pixar offering which takes a different approach from its usual ones. For instance, all of the characters shown are not white but Mexican. It should also come as no surprise that the theme of the story and narrative is heavily based on the Latino culture and customs. This Versus Review! comprises of 2 reviewers who will give their opinion/criticism on each of the categories below, which is to ensure that you will get a more fair and unbiased review of the movie itself. At the end of the post, we will include the review point from both reviewers for you to get the summarised version or tl;dr version.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the reviews!

 

Premise

In Mexico, due to the family’s past history from many generations ago, Miguel’s family has been the only one to despise music in the country. Instead, they prefer making shoes and are proud of it. However, Miguel seems to have inherited the music blood from his great great grandfather and insisted on achieving his dream as a musician. One day, while he plans to steal a famous deceased musician’s guitar, he is transported into the spirit world, where he uncovers a chilling truth.

Screen Shot of Coco film

2 Generations without music and the newest generation that wants to reawaken it!

 

Versus Review!

 

 

Narrative

 

Anthony L. Tjandra:

The story itself is pretty cliche for the first half of the film, as it follows a common Pixar formula of introducing the audience to the characters and the story world. It does a marvellous job and I feel that it is a matter of if it’s not broken, then don’t fix it situation. What amazes me, however, is the second half of the act when the narrative takes a darker turn and many twists start to unfold. I have genuinely been surprised by some of these twists and how the narrative seems to jump from children-based tale to one that will cater even to the adults with its darker revelation. Pixar has done wonders with their storytelling and in doing something that is a bit different yet again with Coco!

Furthermore, the culture of the Day of the Dead memorial is displayed and made into such an interesting tale deserved many applauses as well. It is similar to the Chinese Qing Ming, and somehow this tucks my heartstring a lot due to the recent death of my grandparents and the similar ceremony(connecting with the spirit and remembering them) I went through that makes me feel so strongly for the narrative.

 

Oscar:

The plot of Coco is actually quite simple and it is kind of short but in a “short and sweet” way. Yes there are some moments where the film throws you a curveball in an attempt to surprise/thrill the audience but I was never quite wow-ed as I could see it coming. Perhaps I’ve just seen too many movies. There is a focus on mexican culture, specifically “The day of the Dead” and I feel that it is quite a faithful and accurate portrayal of the culture. There is a heavy focus on familial bonds and as usual following your dreams even if the whole world tells you no. Nothing we have not seen before from Pixar but I feel they really knocked it out of the ballpark for Coco and there were truly quite a few emotional scenes which made me feel for the characters quite a bit.

 

Animation Quality

Anthony L. Tjandra:

Pixar’s animation is always a sight to behold. It retains its own charm but at the same time can be so mersmerising. Each scene is filled with colours that just seems to bring the characters and the story world to ‘life’. Everything is balanced with the selection of colours for the right mood and atmospheres. Furthermore, the action scenes are smooth and slick, while the characters’ facial animations (including the skeletons) are simply marvellous. I have to give them more credits on the design of the Spirit World that fuses a modern feel with traditional Mexican-styles. And the design of the skeletons characters with the spiritual animals also deserve a special mention for their likability.

 

Oscar:

They chose a more grounded style of animation as compared to another similar film, The Book of Life and while I will say I prefer the more unique and highly stylized animation style for that film, Coco’s story is more grounded in a sense and its animation style works. At the end of the day, it is still from Pixar so the quality is as expected, amazingly beautiful and vibrant.

 

Characters

Anthony L. Tjandra:

Oh my, the characters are pretty straightforward and most of them are in line with the Pixar’s style. The only character that caught me off guard is the famous musician itself, but to avoid revealing any spoilers, I would only state that he is a bit out of the normal type of character from Pixar. Although most of the characters seem cliche, the way they act and the events that they experience resonate so strongly with me that I actually felt relatable to them. Perhaps it’s due to the death of my grandparents that make me like the characters way more than usual, so my review of this section is a bit more biased.

 

Oscar:

They introduced a whole host of characters for this film as mentioned, the film is about familial bonds and when I say family I mean like generation upon generation of family members. Of course there are a few key members who are focused on but everyone was quite likable and had their own unique quirks. The child actor did an amazing job and was the beating heart that carried the film.

 

Soundtracks

Anthony L. Tjandra:

Soundtracks wise, they are pretty good, and some songs are also quite memorable as well. They are played during the appropriate parts that heighten the mood or dramatised the atmosphere for you to feel their impact. During the action sequences, the usage of good soundtracks also keeps the tension alive. However, they are not as memorable compared to other Pixar’s films or even other Disney’s animated films.

 

Oscar:

The soundtrack here is fantastic and is actually a major theme and focus of the plot. There is a lot of spanish style guitar in the soundtrack and I absolutely loved it. I am not sure exactly what this genre of music is called so I am just calling it “spanish style guitar”. When the film ended I actually went on spotify looking for some of the tracks.

 

 

Olaf’s Short Film

Anthony L. Tjandra:

Honestly, I was expecting this to last only 8 to 10 mins as a Christmas special, but it drags on for so long that I almost thought I was in the wrong cinema hall! The story starts off okay but soon becomes draggy with a bunch of non-memorable songs thrown in that makes the whole experience pretty bad. And I don’t even really like Olaf in the first place, as I felt that he fails as a comedic character in the film, and is only beaten by the chicken in Moana.

 

Oscar:

The frozen “short” film is as expected from Pixar, good. The music was okay and there were cute moments and funny moments that made me genuinely chuckle. However, it did feel a bit much to show such a long “short” in front of the actual film and come on guys, I think it is high time to put frozen to rest, to…let it go *badumtsh*. Or at least until we get some kind of sequel many, many years from now *cough* incredibly *cough*

 

Coco film review post image
Coco (2017) Versus Review!
Story
Animation
Characters
Soundtrack
Reader Rating0 Votes0
What's good
Vibrant, beautiful visuals (OSCAR)
Heartwarming, emotional moments (OSCAR) (ANTHONY)
Tight pacing (OSCAR)
Lovable characters and wonderful representation and imagination of the Mexican culture and the Day of the Dead (ANTHONY)
Love the darker turn from the middle portion onwards (ANTHONY)
Very good soundtracks (OSCAR) (ANTHONY)
What's bad
Simple lot that is a bit predictable (OSCAR)
Perhaps a bit too short (OSCAR)
4
Dayum!
Pixar has delivered another masterpiece!
With a tight pacing coupled with a beautiful Pixar-quality animation and likable characters, Coco is the reason why Pixar is regarded as the powerhouse of 3D Animation in the world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Story
Animation
Characters
Soundtrack
Final Score

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